Thursday, September 16, 2004

What do you know about really WILD mushrooms?

Be not rigid in your unwillingness to eat a mushroom you have picked in the woods. There are some species that even a rank amateur can classify as edible and suitable for the table. Others of course can make a person nauseous or worse.

It is my considered opinion that if an outdoorsman pays no heed to the fungi sprouting from soil and wood, this individual is missing a great source of satisfaction and fun.

To whet the reader's curiousity and perhaps his or her appetite, I am picturing a few edible mushrooms and some poisonous ones. If you can correctly tell which can be consumed for supper and which should be photographed but never eaten, you will not receive a prize. However, you will have gained the respect of the trolls hiding in the darkened forest. The answers appear below.


2. 3.
4. 5.
6. 7. 8.

1. Deadly amanita- A big bite can do you in.
2. Chanterelle - Wonderful with veal.
3. King bolete - Prized as choice world wide.
4. Jack-O-Lantern - It put my brother in the hospital overnight - can be confused with the chanterelle.
5. Yellow morel - The best!
6. Honey mushroom - Grows on wood - tasty - parboil before serious cooking.
7. Glistening inky cap - Found on rotted stumps - great in an omelette.
8. Chicken of the woods - Yellow and orange color of fresh specimens stand out on tree trunks - delectable when fully cooked.
9. Stinkhorn (in Latin "phallus impudicus")- Ugh!

First timers should use caution before consuming. Join a local mushroom club or check out fungus in a reliable book such as "National Audubon Field Guide to Mushrooms" by Gary A. Lincoff.


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